Worldwide military expenditures surpassed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2004, according to a report from a respected Swedish research organization.

Spending totaled $1,035 billion.

The report noted that in “real terms” this amount was only 6 percent lower than military spending at the peak of the cold war in 1987-1988.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institution, the world last year spent $162 per person on military expenditures.

“The U.S.A. accounted for 47 per cent of this spending,” said the report.

In addition to its regular military spending, U.S. supplemental spending for the “global war on terrorism” primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq totaled $238 billion in 2003-2005.

SIPRI found that U.S. spending exceeded the total combined military spending in the developing world, as well as China, and was the “major determinant” behind the worldwide increase in military spending.

The report pointed out that military spending in Middle East states was high, reaching $193 billion.

Explaining the situation in the Middle East, the report noted, “Conventional arms races are unconstrained, but developments related to weapons of mass destruction are the ones that receive international attention.”

The Swedish reported said, “China is almost completely dependent on Russia for its arms imports.”

The SIPRI report said, “The top 100 [arms] companies increased their combined arms sales in 2003 by 25 percent in current dollars. Of these 100 companies, 38 are based in the USA and one in Canada. Together, these accounted for 63.2 percent of arms sales by the top 100, while 42 European companies (including 6 based in Russia) accounted for another 30.5 per cent of sales.”

The report said, “A comparison for the entire group of 100 companies shows that the value of their total sales in 2003 is roughly equal to the combined national output of all 61 low-income countries in 2003.”

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